Control Center gives you quick, convenient access to several settings on your iPad. You’ll find controls for audio, wireless options, do not disturb (DND), rotation lock and brightness, as well as handy buttons for the timer, camera and AirDrop. You’ll also find AirPlay if you have AirPlay capable devices such as Apple TV. You can call up Control Center at any time, even when the iPad is locked.
You activate Control Center by swiping up from beneath the bottom of the screen. Place your finger below the display on the bezel or frame around the screen. Then flick up. The image above shows the entire Control Center. Let’s divide it into three sections, look more closely at each of those sections and address the controls you’re likely to use most often.
In the left section we see playback or transport controls to play and pause content, such as a song or video. Below that you’ll find the title of the item being played or the name of the app that’s generating the sound. This part of the control center gives you a quick way to pause playback or lower volume. This is especially handy when content is “mysteriously” playing and you’re confused about the source of the noise.
In the middle section we find three network (wireless) buttons as well as DND and screen rotation lock. These buttons are toggles. A tap turns each one on or off. When the button is white, the function is active. (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth show as active in the diagram above). Tap Airplane mode to disable all wireless connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular and GPS. You can use this option to comply with directions from flight attendants when aboard an aircraft. You can also use this feature to extend battery life, since each of these “radios” draw power. Just remember to turn Airplane mode off when your aircraft lands or when you need to be connected again. When Airplane mode is active, you’ll see a tiny airplane icon in the upper left corner in the status bar of your iPad.
The crescent moon is DND (Do Not Disturb). DND silences alerts, notifications, phone calls and FaceTime calls. This feature is useful when you’re in a meeting or public performance or if you keep your device on your bed stand at night. Once again, remember to deactivate DND when you no longer need it. When DND is active, you’ll see a tiny crescent moon icon in the upper right corner in the status bar of your iPad. Lock rotation prevents your iPad screen from switching between landscape and portrait modes. So when you want your iPad to keep the same screen orientation, activate lock rotation. AirDrop and Airplay require deeper explanations. I’ll deal with those in a later article.
On the top right right you see a slider to set screen brightness. This brightness control saves you a trip to Settings. Below you get instant access to two apps, the alarm/stopwatch/timer app and the camera app. When you need to set or measure a timed event, you can do it quickly right here. You’ll find a world clock under the timer app too. These are the same four tools found in the Clock app. The Camera button immediately activates the Camera app on your iPad. Need to snap a photo or capture a video in a hurry while your iPad or iPhone is locked? Do it from here. You may miss a great shot if you take time to swipe to unlock, enter your passcode and start the Camera app.
To put the Control Center away without making a selection, tap the handle or touch the screen anywhere but the Control Center.